Plants with Needlelike or Scalelike Leaves Mostly Evergreens

Thf cone-bearing plants and a few evergreen nonconiferous plants with narrow pointed leaves make up this well-defined group.

For I he most part, these needle-bearing plants are conifers of the pine family. Exceptions are: related yews and junipers with peculiar berrylike fruits; a miscellaneous group of flowering plants whose showy blossoms often contrast with their needle- or scalelike leaves. Leaves of the last group are not indicative of relationship to the more primitive cone-producing clan.

Though most needle-leaved plants carry evergreen leaves throughout the year, needles are continually dropping and being replaced by new springtime growth. Exceptions are the larches and the Baldcypress, cone-bearers that shed their needles annually, The term evergreen also is often applied to those broad-leaved plants, such as some hollies and rhododendrons, which retain green foliage throughout the year,

A number of needle-bearing species that normally are trees in size and form become dwarfed and sprawling at timberline and in other situations exposed to extreme cold or wind.

identify unknown plants in this Section by looking through Plates 1-6 (pp, 34-45), or by first tracing down a definite plate number according to the guide below. The few nonevergrcen species also are included in the Winter Key in Appendix B.

Nome Plate

I. Erect trees and shrubs, usually neither creeping nor forming mats; seeds borne in woody cones (yews have red and junipers have bluish berries): 2. Leaves long, needlelike:

3* Needles occurring in bundles or groups along the twigs PINES, LARCHES 1,2

3* Needles occurring singly;

4. Needles blunt, flat FIRS, etc. 3

4, Needles sharp:

5* Needles more or less 4-sided, neither in opposing pairs nor in whorls of 3 SPRUCES 4 5. Needles 3-sided, either in opposing pairs or in whorls of 3 JUNIPERS 5

5. Needles thornlike GORSE 6

Name Plate

2. Leaves very small and scalelike, hugging the twigs: 6. Leaves blunt; conifers WHITE CEDARS,

JUNIPERS 5

6. Leaves sharp; a Howering tree TAMARISK 6

1. Plants creeping or forming low mats over the ground (in much exposed locations or mountains and in the Far North, see also White Pine (Plate 1), Red Pine (Plate 2), Balsam Fir, Eastern Hemlock, and Yew (Plate 3), Black and White Spruces (Plate 4): 7. Nonflowering plants, seeds borne in woody cones or hard bluish berries; at least some needles either small and scalelike, hugging twigs tightly, or strongly whitened WHITE CEDARS,

JUNIPERS 5

7. Flowering plants, fruits not cones; needles various NON-COXE-BEARERS 6

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Responses

  • Arcangela
    What evergreen tree doesnt have sharp needles but leaves that form shingles?
    9 months ago

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